Hear hear! Happy, you should send that out to all of your colleagues, and give them something to think about. :)


>>> On another level, however, it reflects a totally irrational anxiety about SEX, and women and girls being sullied by SEX, and men on some level or another equating women and girls with SEX.

Yes it does, but isn’t this exactly what feminist argue all the time, that is, how women are treated as sex objects by men and how women just never know if the next male friend of theirs might turn into their rapist? Persecution of women at the hands of evil men is the very basis for feminist grievances, and now your getting all twisty because these new fathers have drunk the feminist coolaid. I mean, who’s being irrational here. You can’t have it both ways.

>>> He gave me a lot of nonsense about how girls are more vulnerable to rape and pregnancy …

News Flash. Girls are more vulnerable than boys to rape and pregnancy.


>>> AMANDA wrote: Modern western civilizations have always been held apart from third world nations and past monarchist or despotic societies because of the special standing that their girl children have had.

What a startling statement. Amanda knows nothing of the social history of non-western societies is she believes this. (And she's a leading feminist blogger? Boggles the mind.)



If that quote comes from where I think it does, then it was something Amanda was quoting from a conservative columnist.


need to show more respect for our daughters' agency and ability to fend for themselves, and we also need to show a bit more concern for our sons and what they are doing and feeling.

Oh please, this is blissful theory taking precedence over immediate reality. It's funny isn't it, that so many idealists dump their theories when they become parents and don't want to use their own children as guinea pigs. The best way to change the world is for parents to actually put the ideas they believe in into practice. There is a major hint in this for the armchair theorists who don't like seeing the perpetuation of standard gender roles - we've now had a few generations of committed feminists coming into parenthood and they don't all seem to be following the advice of the theorists - it should be a pretty big wake-up call when some feminists who become mothers and fathers don't treat their 16 year old daughters the same as their 16 year old sons. There's little sense in single people castigating parents and future parents for these "failings" when they should simply become parents themselves so that they can then freely conduct social re-engineering experiments on their own kids and they can reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of their parenting choices. Don't tell people that they're raising their kids in an ideologically unfashionable manner, show them how your way is better. Which do you think would be more effective - following the advice of someone who doesn't have to suffer the consequences for giving bad advice, or following the example of someone who has put their money where their mouth is and can point to the benefits and pitfalls of the practice?


Fascinating, Tango, that you don't know any feminists who've raised their daughters in feminist ways.

'Cuz I do. May I point to mine, among others?

The Happy Feminist

Richard says: Yes it does, but isn’t this exactly what feminist argue all the time, that is, how women are treated as sex objects by men and how women just never know if the next male friend of theirs might turn into their rapist?

Well, that's not exactly it, but the habit of equating women with sex is a problem for women. And these pathological papas are part of the problem, not the solution. I wish I'd been more explicit about this, but the thing is that this freakish overprotectiveness isn't really about rape and pregnancy but about the fear of daughters having sex at all.

News Flash. Girls are more vulnerable than boys to rape and pregnancy.

Of COURSE, they are. But this is a nonsensical justification for being zillions of times more protective of daughters than of sons for the reasons I outline on the second paragraph below that statement.

TangoMan, point taken. I will immediately get going on trying to get pregnant and meanwhile I will refrain from having any opinions whatsoever about the differential treatment of sons and daughters.

(By the way, one of the best aspects of my upbrining was the lack of any particularized protectiveness over me. I am still grateful to this day that my parents, my father included, trusted me to stay at all night, make sensible decisions about whom to date and when or whether to have sex, and do my own thing. They certainly cared about my well being but there was none of this business of "The sky is falling, my little girl might have sex (shudder))"

The Happy Feminist

Also, Richard, I think it's safe to say that overprotectiveness of daughters and restrictions on girls and young women out of a fear of them having sex far pre-dates the work feminists have done in studying and directing attention to the problem of rape.

Rape is certainly a serious problem, but so are all the dangers boys face. The solution is not a double standard of protectiveness, nor is it an irrational anxiety over young women's sexuality.

chem fem

What a father feels after the birth of his child and once he's actually doing the parenting is probably very different though. Who ever undertakes a particular task (especially one a large as being a parent) in the way they first thought they would. I think it is a distinct lack of understanding or girls and women that makes men say this. My dad commented a few years ago that he was definately very happy to have had daughters, especially having seen my aunt raise sons. He was taken by how much more havoc and 'ware and tear' they caused among other things which I'm sure is something a new dad never thinks of. I don't think he was any less able to do things with me that he could have done with a son either. We always went and looked at the sky through his telescope and visited the science museum.....


Hi Happy,

These men? They're probably just disappointed that they got a girl instead of a boy, even though they'd never admit it. Indeed, they may even be unaware of their preference. Check out this article by Stephen Landsburg on the topic http://www.slate.com/id/2089142/. He also has a follow up rebuttal article that answer many of the common criticisms that people voice. Here is the link to that one: http://www.slate.com/id/2089756/

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